AMD Ryzen 7 5800X Review – Zen 3 Delivers Well On Its Promise With Generational Improvement, and High Boost Clocks

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AMD has made some bold claims with Zen 3, its latest CPU lineup which is built on the same process as Zen 2 (Ryzen 3000) CPUs, except the fact that it now fills in some key missing pieces that some enthusiasts have complained about over the years. Today, we’re reviewing the Ryzen 7 5800X, AMD’s latest 8-core consumer CPU which offers some key improvements over its already tried-and-tested Zen 2 counterpart. And before you click off here’s the TLDR version – Zen 3 really does deliver on AMD’s promise.

If you ask anyone about Zen 2’s shortcomings, you’d probably hear “They’re not as fast as Intel’s CPUs”. Well, that’s technically true, as Zen 2 offered decent IPC improvements over its predecessors, but it’s boost clocks were much lower than what Intel was offering at the time. That changed by a small margin with the refreshed ‘XT’ branded processors that went on sale earlier this year. The Ryzen 3000 XT CPUs were, essentially, the same Zen 2 cores with a frequency increase, particularly in the boost clocks.

You can read more about them in our review of the Ryzen 7 3800XT, but the gist of it was – XT CPUs boost higher in some scenarios under adequate conditions. That generally translated to some improvements, but not much in terms of real-world usage. With that in mind, here’s how the Ryzen 7 5800X compares against the 3800XT and the 3700X from last year:

Ryzen 7 3700XRyzen 7 3800XRyzen 7 3800XTRyzen 7 5800X
Cores/Threads8/168/168/168/16
Base Clock3.6 GHz3.9GHz3.9 GHz3.8 GHz
Boost Clock4.4GHz 4.5GHz4.7 GHz4.7GHz
TDP65W105W105W105W
Included CoolerWraith PrismWraith PrismNoneNone
Launch Price (INR and USD)INR 24990 + GST ($329)INR 28,490 + GST ($399)INR 30,990 + GST ($399)INR 34,490 + GST ($449)
AMD Zen 2 vs Zen 3 Prices for 8-core CPUs

Explaining Zen 3’s New Core Layout and Lower Latency

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The Ryzen lineup has seen some considerable changes over the last few years, with Zen 2 (Ryzen 3000) bringing a new process while keeping (mostly) the same platform for users. Zen 3 (Ryzen 5000) is manufactured on a refined 7nm process, but AMD has made some smart changes to the actual core layout in its architecture to really deliver on the “19% IPC improvement” promise. To be clear, that means at the same frequencies, Zen 3 on average scores 19% higher in any given test. Removing that hard-lock is what most users will do, as most gamers will just likely turn on PBO and go about their day. That can, in turn, lead to even higher performance boost in games and other workloads as Zen 3 runs at higher clock speeds.

AMD Zen 2 vs Zen 3 Layout
AMDs Zen 2 vs Zen 3 Layout Difference

In its new Zen 3 CPUs like the 5800X, we now get 8 cores in a CCX layout instead of 4 like in Zen 2. AMD has also doubled the unified L3 cache which all 8 of those cores can access directly, resulting in reduced latency. This new layout helps in keeping the same upgrade path for users on the AM4 platform, but also helps in reducing latency among those cores. And since the cores can also communicate faster, reaching higher clocks speeds is now more attainable. Like its predecessors, Zen 3 still will run quite warm, but temparature isn’t the only wall that will keep it from clocking higher.

That increased on-die memory is what AMD claims helps in boosting gaming performance, particularly in those which rely on bursts of single-core clock speeds. But that doesn’t mean that everything you know about Zen 2 needs to be thrown away. AMD told us that everything we knew and learned from Zen 2 applies here also, and that includes core overclocking and RAM/Infinity Fabric tweaking. In fact, the ceiling is now higher for DDR4-4000 MHz, where a 2:1 ratio can be sustained to help in increasing frequency. Basically, getting faster clock speeds is now more easier to attain. And it’s true!

Review Test Bench:

  • CPU – AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
  • Motherboard – MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE
  • GPU – NVIDIA RTX 2060 Super FE
  • Cooler – Deepcool Gammax L240T
  • RAM- 16 GB G.Skill TridentZ RGB (3000 MHz)
  • Storage – Crucial P1 500GB NVMe PCIe 3.0 M.2 SSD
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All benchmarks henceforth were done with PBO turned ON.

Ryzen 7 5800X Gaming Performance Benchmarks

We tested a variety of newer and older titles at 1080p, since we’re testing with the RTX 2060 Super. This removes the bottleneck that we’d otherwise face at 1440p or even 4K, and shows’s the most of what Ryzen 5000 can offer at resolution that’s still widely used. All games were tested at their highest graphical preset.

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X Gaming Benchmarks
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X Gaming Benchmarks
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It’s clear from here that our 5800X performs really well in esports titles, a division where Ryzen has always lagged behind compared to Intel. The increased L3 cache and latency reductions are clearly at work here, delivering a higher average frame rate in competitive games. In other AAA titles, it does improve upon Zen 2, but not by too much. That’s why the geomean of 19% IPC improvement that you’ll see from AMD might not be listed here, as it’s actually higher in-game when not locked to the frequencies!

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X Gaming Benchmarks 2

Ryzen 7 5800X Synthetic Benchmarks

Now let’s get on with the synthetic benchmarks, where we’ll be able to examine the IPC improvements further. Starting with Cinebench R20, AMD boasted that they had broken the 600 point mark in the single-core test, and I can confirm that it is indeed true.

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X Cinebench and CPU-Z Benchmarks 2

We didn’t quite break the score of 6000 points in multi-thread performance, but we got pretty close to it.

But here’s an interesting part – During the multi-core workloads, our 5800X would lock to 4.5 GHz on all cores while remaining under the highest operating temperature limit! It’s something I’ve never seen before with Ryzen, with Zen 2 and its XT refresh topping out at 4 GHz mostly.

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X All Core workload in Cinebench R20 - It reaches 4.5 GHz on all cores!
Our Ryzen 7 5800X reaches 4.5 GHz on all cores!

Here’s a look at the average effective clock speed during Cinebench R20’s multi-core test on the Ryzen 7 3800XT and 5800X:

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X vs 3800XT Cinebench R20 Multi-Core Benchmark
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X vs 3800XT Cinebench R20 Multi-Core Benchmark

During single-core workloads, the 5800X would go up to 4.8 GHz, which is more than its advertised boost clock!

With AutoOC turned on at 200 MHz boost override, the max ceiling for our 5800X is 5050 MHz. That doesn’t mean it’ll touch it, but we came really close at 4.9 GHz in testing! Don’t believe me? Here you go:

Ryzen 7 5800X reaches 4.9 GHz in Bright Memory RTX Benchmark
Ryzen 7 5800X reaches 4.9 GHz in Bright Memory RTX Benchmark

Geekbench returned likewise scores:

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X Geekbench Benchmarks

Let’s move on to Adobe Premiere Pro, where we rendered 10 first 10 minutes of our recent interview with NODWIN Gaming. The test settings included Constant Bit-rate encoding at 16 Mbps and counts the encode time.

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X vs 3800XT Premiere Pro Video Encoding Benchmarks

That’s quite fast and is 15% faster than our Ryzen 7 3800XT on which we performed the same test.

With 3DMark, we counted the CPU scores as shown below:

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 3DMark Benchmarks

Verdict

On average, the Ryzen 7 5800X scores 38% higher than last year’s Ryzen 7 3700X while costing 36% more (at launch). It scores 25% higher than this year’s Ryzen 7 3800XT while costing 12% more (at launch) across gaming, content-creation and synthetic benchmarks.

To me, the answer is clear – get the 5800X if you’re willing to upgrade from the original Zen (Ryzen 1800X) CPU. For that, you’ll need to upgrade your entire platform, which could end up costing a lot. Ryzen 3000 owners can upgrade relatively easily, and the higher frequencies and IPC improvement should help in virtually every scenario. But are you willing to pay more for that upgrade? That depends on the individual user. If you’ve got a good cooling setup on Ryzen 3000, then you could negate the gap by overclocking your existing CPU to an extent. But regardless, it’s clear that Zen 3 is meant for higher clock speeds, and that may mean more to some than others.

You can learn more about Ryzen 5000 CPUs availability and pricing on its official website here. We’ll be comparing the Ryzen 7 5800X against its predecessors (3700X, 3800XT) soon, so check back on this space for that.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Ryzenshine!

SUMMARY

AMD's Ryzen 7 5800X performs better than last year's Zen 2 offerings. With improved IPC and higher clock speed attainability, the Ryzen 5000 lineup is poised to be accepted by gamers and content creators alike, even with its increased pricing.
Rahul Majumdar
I've been writing here for quite a while. Tech, Gaming, Film, you name it. Lead Editor here at TechQuila. Occupational hazards include excessive gaming & movie-binging sessions. Most active on Twitter!

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